On August 5th, Celanese Corporation (CE) notified that it is planning to shut down two plastic and polyester material production units, the Cleveland County plant and Grover facility, at the Ticona Manufacturing subsidiary in North Carolina. The closure is a result of a significant decline in demand for products made at the facility and challenging market conditions, especially in the automotive and electronics sectors.

Celanese stated that the shut down would result in layoffs of about 100 workers by around September 30 this year. About half of the employees to be laid off will be production operators with the rest being warehouse operators, lab analysts and mechanics. Further job cuts will be made in February 2010. The plants employed 150 workers.

The layoffs will be permanent, and the plant’s polymer production unit will be closed entirely. Celanese is planning to move the operations to Kentucky.

The downturn in the global economy and the anticipated lower demand in 2009 has forced Celanese to reduce its capacities. In the first quarter of 2009, the company had permanently shut down the VAM production facility in Cangrejera, Mexico. This facility had an annual production capacity of 115,000 tons.

The company is further assessing the potential closure of acetic acid and VAM production in Pardies in France. The Pardies facility is capable of producing 450,000 tons of acetic acid and 150,000 tons of VAM annually.
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